Mixed micelles formed from graft and diblock copolymers for application in intracellular drug delivery

Chun Liang Lo, Chun Kai Huang, Ko Min Lin, Ging Ho Hsiue*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

156 Scopus citations


A novel mixed micelle that comprised of poly(N-isopropylacrylamide-co-methacrylic acid)-graft-poly(d,l-lactide) (P(NIPAAm-co-MAAc)-g-PLA) with methoxy poly(ethylene glycol)-b-poly(d,l-lactide) (mPEG-b-PLA) was developed for application in cancer therapy. The mixed micelle had an multi-functional inner core of P(NIPAAm-co-MAAc)-g-PLA to enable intracellular drug delivery and an extended hydrophilic outer shell of mPEG to hide the inner core. Stability analysis of the mixed micelles in bovine serum albumin (BSA) solution indicates that the diblock copolymer mPEG efficiently protected the BSA adsorption on the mixed micelles because the hydrophobic groups of graft copolymer were efficiently screened by mPEG. From the drug release study, the mPEG-PLA diblock copolymer in mixed micelles slightly affected the functionalities of the P(NIPAAm-co-MAAc)-g-PLA graft copolymer; the graft copolymer still exhibited pH- and thermo-sensitivities in this core-shell structure. A change in pH deformed the structure of the inner core from that of aggregated P(NIPAAm-co-MAAc), causing the release of a significant quantity of doxorubicin (Dox) from mixed micelles. Clear differences between free Dox and Dox-mixed micelles were observed using confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM). This study presents not only a new micelle structure for a graft-diblock copolymer system, but also a method for overcoming some of the limitations on biomaterials used in intravenous injection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1225-1235
Number of pages11
Issue number6
StatePublished - Feb 2007


  • Controlled drug release
  • Copolymer
  • Micelle
  • Self-assembly


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